Holiday eCommerce spending will break through $100 billion in 2017 in the U.S. alone, according to a study released today by Adobe. That’s almost 14% year-over-year growth. In addition, Cyber Monday will hit $6.6 billion in sales alone, even though Black Friday will have better deals.
And mobile, at last, has surpassed desktop, in at least one way.
Smartphone plus tablet e-commerce visits to retail sites will account for 54% of all visits, Adobe says, while desktop drops to 46%. In 2015, desktop accounted for 55% of all visits, while in 2016 it was 50%. Mobile has already far surpassed desktop in web use generally, but buying has been a special use case: people have tended to like more screen space.
Total sales, Adobe estimates, will be $107.4 billion.
Black Friday will account for $5 billion of that, up 16.4% from last year, while Cyber Monday’s $6.6 billion will see an almost-identical 16.5% year-over-year growth.
In other words, retailers better prepare their servers for an onslaught.
The shift to mobile devices is expected and normal, but retailers need to be aware that the customer journey is not simple. Many will view items on their mobile devices but only purchase on their desktop or laptop computers.
That’s not a problem, according to Adobe.
“For many retailers, the data will show that intent focused on discovery (e.g., product research), physical store information and customer service inquiries are some of the top activities,” Adobe director of mobile product and strategy Roger Woods told me via email. “If the experience is delivered to make sure these are done very well, respecting the users time and intent, mobile will be a key entry point for consumers to seal the deal on another channel—be it desktop or in person. In some instances, these can be stitched together, where a cart started on mobile can be finished on a laptop at work.”
Interestingly, conversion rates are higher on mobile sites for smaller retailers, who might be more nimble in taking advantage of modern technology. Small retailers convert buyers at 1.9% on smartphones, compared to 1.6% for large and 1.3% for medium-sized businesses. Desktop rates are higher, at 3.4 to 4.9%.
The most anticipated gifts of the season?
Nerf guns and Apple AirPods lead the toys and consumer electronics lists, while Super Mario Odyssey and Nintendo Switch lead the games and console lists.
Adobe’s report, analysis, and predictions are based on analysis of one trillion visits to 4,500 retail e-commerce sites with 55 million products and more than 6 million orders per day from November to December.
One thing Adobe’s report does not include: mobile commerce via apps.
Half of American online shoppers use Amazon’s app, for instance, and that’s significant not only because Amazon specifically could account for up to half of U.S. e-commerce sales in 2017 alone and has an aggregate of over 750 million mobile users across all of its apps, but also because mobile apps have the potential to deliver the kind of desktop-quality experience that mobile web still struggles, in some cases, to provide.
And that will just extend the mobile advantage even more.
Special thanks to John Koetsier, Contributor at Forbes, for sharing this article.